Or any comment either, except to wonder if the execs at Adidas have truly lost their minds. (News flash: apparently recovering from what they had been smoking, Adidas execs have decided to withdraw this particular model. It will probably become a collector’s item, like all those cans of New Coke I have sitting around.)
Monthly Archives: June 2012
Never let anyone say that Becky and I don’t know how to have a good time. One of our favorite things to do when the Bloom grocery store used to run double coupon specials was to go to the store, split up the shopping list and buy groceries for ourselves and the food pantry at church. I liked to see who could finish first, but Becky didn’t want to race so my victories were always hollow. I like grocery stores in general, so we had a good time.
Saturday evening about 9:00 or so, Becky asked me if I would go with her to get gas in her Glass-Enclosed Toyota Music Machine (aka her 1999 Avalon) and, never one to miss out on fun, I said sure and we were off. The station is about a mile from our house, so we arrived quickly; I jumped out and pumped the gas, noting that it was “down” to $3.20 a gallon, and got back in. Becky proposed that we go to Nathan’s Ice Cream Bar (or whatever it is) about half a mile away. I wasn’t sure I could take that much merriment, but I agreed and we went to Nathan’s where the line was about thirty people long. They serve quickly there and soon we were enjoying a vanilla cone and a pineapple sundae respectively.
We sat at one of the tables, ate our ice cream and watched the line double in size in about ten minutes. It was a nice evening and nice to be out. Then we went home, but it was a nice (if brief) outing.
We are not what anyone would call outdoor people. Most of the time in this area it’s too humid or hot or cold or rainy or snowy or whatever to enjoy being outside. Generally we go from our heated or air conditioned house to our climate-controlled cars and then to temperate buildings and stores and rarely stay outside. We’ had a nice stretch of low-humidity warmish weather and it’s nice just to be out.
When I was a lad, we frequently sat outside as a family. Our house didn’t have air conditioning, and we would sit in the dark (fun times!) until the interior cooled down enough to sleep. I remember chasing and catching fireflies in a jar and seeing if they gave off enough light to read a comic book by. I never could, but I kept trying.
Our mother preferred that Ron and I stay outside anyone so we wouldn’t tear up the house, so we pretty much did live outside. There have been a lot of changes since those days, but it was nice Saturday evening to, in a sense, revisit an earlier time. We’ll have to do it again soon.
That’s what my daughter and her friend say
As they talk about their co-workers
Who drive them crazy.
Friend: “It doesn’t matter what he’s talking about
He always draws the same diagram
It’s a bell curve and it illustrates everything
According to him,
Infant mortality rates or shopping patterns of
And she draws a bell curve on a scrap
At the table, we look at the bell curve as if
We have never seen one before
And nod sagely, yes, that is irritating and odd
But I’m thinking, it does apply to those situations.
Daughter: “My guy always draws a circle
And then puts little dots inside it. He says things like
‘Here’s the target population’ and draws a circle
And then peppers it with little dots,
‘And here are our inreach efforts,’ ”
And she quickly draws a circle
And jabs her pen into the paper a number of times.
As I study both diagrams, daughter and friend lapse into
A kind of disgusted silent contemplation of their lot
While I realize the coworkers they are fed up with
Are guys my age only a little obsessed with their ideas
And unsure just how to communicate them.
To illustrate everything
Time after time
But looking at the two diagrams
I like them both and
I can’t decide between them.
Before I get into my little bit about writing, I want to recommend an interview by Carol Covin (Granny Guru, author of Who Gets to Name Grandma– online at http://grandparents.about.com/od/booksaboutgrandparenting/fr/Who-Gets-To-Name-Grandma-The-Wisdom-Of-Mothers-And-Grandmothers.htm Carol also writes on her website http://newgrandmas.com/ most notably an amazing blog entitled “New Grandmas Rock” ).
Carol interviewed Lake Ridge author Nancy Kyme (author of Memory Lake–online at http://www.nancyskyme.com/, and also available on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. If you don’t have these two ladies’ books, log off now and go to their websites or to Amazon or B&N and order yourself copies for you and all your friends).
The ostensible subject of the interview is Anne LaMott’s book on writing, Bird by Bird, but Carol and Nancy share their own insights into writing as well. They talk about the book and about their writing with charm and grace, which is much more than I can manage. It’s well worth a listen: http://recording.freeconferencecalling.com/mp3/1025268/176393/IA1205_06122012074223289_1157686.mp3.
OK, then, here’s my paltry contribution on the subject for this week:
I seem to have fallen into a number of long term projects which I have written about occasionally on these pages. One was going through my father’s household belongings and selling, giving away or keeping them. This took me from about last August to this February. In a sense, I’m not finished because I still have to integrate his tools into my tool collection and cull the duplicates. I think I presently have four caulking guns.
Then there was my attic insulation project, which ran from last August until about this April. I’m pleased to report that the upstairs is not as hot as it has been other summers so all those R values are above my head working away.
My fence project has about two sections complete with a third underway. I ran out of materials Friday and did not want to brave Home Depot on a Saturday. It waited until Monday.
My point is that a lot can be accomplished over a period of time with persistent effort. I was thinking about this in conjunction with a novel I have begun. I wrote an abysmal one-character novel in which nothing happened about twenty years ago. No one will ever see it. I wonder why I haven’t burned it. But this time, I’m already up to about ten characters and I’m writing about something I know about. What a concept!
And I know from my first attempt that it’s a matter of keeping after it day by day. Already I find myself wanting to get back to work on it when I’m working on tool organization or fence building. I suppose the writer has to be the most enthusiastic person about what he or she is writing or else no one else will care. I grew used to being the most enthusiastic person in the room about literature when I taught English in high school, so this is not a new role for me.
I was reminded by some writer friends to practice what I preached when I taught creative writing years ago: write what parts jump out at you, don’t think you have to start at the beginning and write to the end (start anywhere and jump around if you want. No one will know when it’s done) and expect to revise, revise, revise. Thanks to my friends who reminded me of these important truths. You know who you are.
As for me, I have to do some research now to make sure the details are right. What a glorious project this is!
One real generational difference comes with the land line telephone. I call the difference between my generation and that of my thirty-something daughters “the digital divide.” They have gone almost totally digital, reading newspapers on line, eschewing landlines in favor of cell phones and listening to digital music files. They have always known and used and been comfortable with digital devices. I’m more typical of my generation: I first used computers in school (teaching, not taking) in 1985 and have gradually learned how to use digital devices. I have several computers, an iPhone and a Nook. And yet I still keep writing ideas in a notebook, have a landline, read paper books and listen to CD’s. I haven’t made the break with the older forms of technology and probably never will.
There are also differences in how we use these technologies. Amy and Alyssa rarely answer their phones. If I want them to respond, I text them. I used to detest texting, although I have a better attitude toward it with some practice. When I asked them about their reliance on this form, they said it was less intrusive and that it was nice to have a written record of information such as an address or phone number. That makes sense to me, although there are times when only a phone call will do.
So, we’re keeping our landline with the number we’ve had for nearly 40 years. I need it for my fax, although there is probably a way I could configure that to work off the wi fi at home. And I know, faxes are hopelessly old school, but sometimes that’s the way I need to roll.
The Washington Post did an article on this very issue in 2010, using research and surveys. I prefer to pull these posts out of my ear, as faithful readers know.